Review: To/Die/For

(Nuclear Blast)

The press release seems to want to push the term “Gothic” onto this band, and sure enough the vocals do have Christian Death sort of Gothic appeal, but the vocalist could also be easily, if not a tad lazily, compared to someone like Geoff Tate from Queensryche when he’s keeping himself confined to the lower notes. I only say this because there are certain hazards in categorization. Years ago when what was considered gothic rock consisted of heavyweights Bauhaus and their many underlings, To/Die/For would have been considered heavy metal, albeit on the lighter side, and nothing more. The guitars, guitar solos, big noisy climaxes, and use of double bass in the music pushes this outside of what anyone could technically call “Goth.” Even outside of what I’m willing to call “Goth” today. I think it’s important to take note of this and take issue with the PR for the band because so many music critics will simply parrot a band’s PR material. Thus, if PR says the band is gothic rock, then all sorts of music magazines will say the band is gothic rock. But what’s the danger of this? What’s the big deal? I’ll tell you what the big deal is. If this is allowed to happen and go on unchecked then the very definition and parameters of the category of music demarcated as “Gothic Rock” will change. Let this go on long enough and the categorical constraint has no more meaning than a fart in the vacuum of space.  Now then, To/Die/For falls somewhere between power metal and Styx’s Mr. Roboto with a twist, mind you, just a twist of gothiness.